- Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania reportedly settled a sexual harassment complaint from a decades-younger female aide last year.
- The aide alleged that Meehan grew hostile after she became involved with another man.
- Meehan, who is married, denied he was romantically involved with the aide, and said he viewed her as a “soul mate.”
Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, who used taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by a decades-younger female aide, denied the allegation published in a bombshell New York Times report, but said he viewed the aide as “a soul mate” and “complete partner,” according to The Inquirer.
A glimpse of Meehan and the aide’s alleged interaction was gleaned from a letter the married 62-year-old Congressman allegedly wrote in May, in which he thanked the aide for her companionship.
“As you bask in this moment of extreme joy, I want to share with you my sentiment of how richly it is deserved,” Meehan wrote in the letter. “You are kind and sensitive and caring and infectious with your laugh. You are and have been a complete partner to me and you have brought me much happiness.”
“As I walked this evening and glanced over at the White House I smiled at the irony that on a day I had to say ‘no’ to the President and to the Speaker of the House, I got to say ‘yes’ to you,” the letter read.
The letter continued: “Thank you for all that you have done for me, and for all you continue to do. I thank God for putting you into my life and for all that we have seen, and experienced and genuinely shared together.”
The aide, who reportedly worked with Meehan for seven years, texted him the day after the letter was dated, thanking him “for your very kind words and for your friendship,” according to messages his office shared to the Associated Press.
The aide’s complaint alleged that after she became involved in a serious relationship with another man, Meehan became hostile enough that she decided to work from home, and then ultimately quit, according to The Times.
Meehan admitted that he may have acted selfishly towards the aide: “I started to talk to her about my reaction to (her new relationship) and you know, selfishly I was thinking about what this was going to mean to me,” Meehan said in The Inquirer, “that she was leaving and that this was going to change the dynamic which was very special in my office and also somebody that I was emotionally close to by virtue of the time that we spent together in seven years.”
Although Meehan admitted to acting selfishly, he told The Inquirer that he did not pursue a romantic relationship with the aide. “I was not interested in a relationship, particularly not any sexual relationship, but we were soul mates.” He said he viewed the idea of a soul mate as someone with whom a person goes through “remarkable experiences together.”
News of the aide’s allegation and undisclosed settlement follows previous sexual misconduct allegations stemming from Capitol Hill in recent months. The process in which the allegations were settled has been a subject of debate, after reports shed light on lawmakers using taxpayer funds for their settlements.
Meehan reportedly said he planned on running for reelection, according to The Inquirer.
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